It's simple: Consumers want to purchase from the "expert" in the industry. Think about it: Would consumers ever say, "I want the construction company that didn't answer my questions to be the one to build my house," or, "I want the doctor who didn't explain why I need this surgery to operate on me," or even, "I want the barista who couldn't tell me what a latte is to be the one who makes my coffee?" Absolutely not! Consumers want to make informed purchase decisions from trustworthy businesses that are willing to prove that they are the industry expert.
So, how can your business prove to consumers that you are the expert, or thought leader, in your industry? Through inbound marketing! Inbound marketing relies on relevant, thoughtful, and informative content to set you up as a thought leader in your industry. Thought leadership lets customers know that you are an industry expert, which you prove by having great content. From blog posts to eBooks to webinars, the content you create will provide consumers with the information they seek from you. Such content automatically sets your business up as a trusted source of information and allows consumers to feel confident in doing business with you.
Are You Your Industry’s Thought Leader?
Time for a quick self-check to determine your current status in your industry. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are on top of your game as a thought leader in your industry.
1. Would consumers choose your business over your top competition?
If your competition is chosen first, they are likely the current industry thought leader at this time.
2. Is your website content informative? Does it answer frequently asked questions about your products/services or your industry?
Content on your website should include informative blog posts, eBooks, infographics, videos, and more to give your potential customers plenty of information to use as research.
3. Do you show up on the first page of Google when a consumer searches a common phrase or question about your industry?
We would encourage you to literally go to Google now and test this out. Search for a commonly asked question or phrase regarding your industry. If your business doesn't appear on the first page as a search result, then it’s time to implement an inbound marketing strategy designed to get you listed there.
4. Is your content shared by consumers on social media?
If your content is being shared, then this means that consumers find enough value in it to spread the word to others. When your posts never get shared (or if you simply don't have share-worthy content to begin with), then it’s time to step up your game and stake your claim as an expert, even in the social media world.
Take a Look at Your Competition
A good way to assess if you are an industry thought leader is to look at your competition. Revisit the questions above, this time from your competition's point of view. How would they be able to answer? Look over your competitor’s website and see if they have content that is informative. If their content is more interesting or engaging (or if they simply have more content to begin with), look for ways to boost your own content creation.
How to Become a Thought Leader In Your Industry
Inbound marketing is the way to go when it comes to positioning your business as a thought leader. Solid blog posts and premium content give you the quality SEO you need to rank high in online searches. When you show up high on Google searches, consumers will automatically consider you to be a thought leader in your industry. Remember: When potential customers have a question, they will search for the answer online. If your website is able to answer that question effectively, this could eventually lead to a sale.
Know who you are as a business. Look at the ways in which you provide value to your customers. Take time to read through your content to determine if you are a thought leader or if your competition is instead. If you are not currently a thought leader in your industry, don't worry! Commit today to utilize inbound marketing to show consumers that you are the expert that they should trust.